spouse requesting post-divorce support in Texas must be eligible to receive spousal maintenance before a court can grant the request. The court cannot award spousal maintenance to a non-eligible spouse on its own. However, parties are free to agree and contract for post-divorce support even when the court would not have the power to do so.
In order to be eligible, the spouse seeking maintenance must lack sufficient property once the divorce is final (including separate property) to provide for her minimum reasonable needs.
Additionally one of the following two scenarios must apply:
1. The paying spouse must have been convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an act of family violence as defined by Texas law. Additionally, the act of family violence must have been committed either:
a.) During the marriage (but no more than two years before the date the divorce suit was filed); or
b.) While the divorce suit was pending.
2. The spouse seeking maintenance is unable to earn sufficient income to provide for her minimum reasonable needs and:
a.) Her inability is due to an incapacitating physical or mental disability; or
b.) Her inability is due to her responsibilities as the custodian of a child of the marriage who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability; or
c.) She has been married to the other spouse for 10 years or more.
If your wife cannot meet the conditions set out in at least one of the above scenarios, the she is not eligible for court-ordered, post-divorce spousal maintenance.
f the court decides to award spousal maintenance, the following parameters set the boundaries for how long the award can last.
1. Up to 5 years of post-divorce support. This the applicable cap if the marriage lasted less than 10 years and the requesting spouse can show eligibility under scenario #1 above or the marriage lasted at least 10 years but less than 20 years.
2. Up to 7 years of post-divorce support. This is the maximum duration allowed if the marriage lasted at least 20 years but less than 30 years.
3. Up to 10 years of post-divorce support. This is the maximum duration allowed if the marriage lasted 30 years or more.
A lawyer here may seek say 40% of his net income for spousal and see what court awards.
I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.